The sliding friction coefficients and wear rates of promising carbide, oxide, and nitride materials were measured under temperature, environmental, velocity, loading conditions that are representative of the adiabatic engine environment. In order to provide guidance needed to improve materials for this application, the program stressed fundamental understanding of the mechanisms involved in friction and wear. Microhardness tests were performed on the candidate materials at elevated temperatures, and in atmospheres relevant to the piston seal application, and optical and electron microscopy were used to elucidate the micromechanisms of wear following wear testing. X-ray spectroscopy was used to evaluate interface/environment interactions which seemed to be important in the friction and wear process. Electrical effects in the friction and wear processes were explored in order to evaluate the potential usefulness of such effects in modifying the friction and wear rates in service. However, this factor was found to be of negligible significance in controlling friction and wear.